October 17, 2011
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
Specific Measures Needed to Ensure that Financial Institutions Become More Transparent and Accountable for Deposit of Illicit Finances
WASHINGTON, DC – In reaction to the recently released communiqué from the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Paris last week, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) voiced disappointment and urged the G20 to move beyond “piecemeal regulations” and adopt comprehensive reforms to create greater transparency and accountability in the world’s financial system.
“The Finance Minister’s communiqué fails to mention country-by-country reporting, automatic exchange of tax information, disclosure of beneficial ownership, or strengthening of anti-money-laundering laws,” said GFI director Raymond Baker. “These measures are key to creating global economic development, and financial stability. What we have here are piecemeal fixes to a systemic problem.”
“The G20 member countries must support comprehensive measures that would increase overall transparency and accountability across the board for multi-national corporations and financial institutions, in developed and developing countries alike,” said Mr. Baker.”
GFI notes that several of these measures have made progress towards implementation through the introduction of U.S. legislation, including country-by-country reporting in the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act and beneficial ownership disclosure in the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act. “The G20 member nations should support these measures and adopt legislation similar to them in their own countries,” noted Baker.
GFI also noted the strong contribution of Civil Society to the G20 process.
“Civil society has engaged with the G20 every step of the way, providing insight and feedback on the progress of both the Development and Anti-Corruption Working Groups, specifically, and to the overall financial reform process,” said Mr. Baker.
Groups like the End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign have also provided mechanisms for citizens to speak-up and take action in this process. To date, more than 31,000 people have signed the global petition calling on the G20 to end tax haven secrecy when it meets next month in Cannes.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfip.org.